by Michael S. Fischer
February 9, 2012
George Soros, seen here at
Davos in January,
answered a broad range of
questions at TIGER 21 event.
At Tiger 21 event,
Soros was asked for his predictions on
from Jon Corzine going to jail to
Obama's re-election chances
The wealthy investors who make up the
peer-to-peer learning group Tiger 21 like to invite heavy hitters, such as
Mohammed El-Erian, Carl Icahn and Jim Rogers, to their Headliner Lunches.
In December (2011),
George Soros joined that
illustrious roster, according to a statement from the group released
In an interview with Robert Johnson, executive
director of the
Institute for New Economic Thinking, Soros discussed the economy and
issues affecting investments and world markets, and reacted to some members’
predictions for the year ahead.
Soros said the current economic environment,
“is about as serious and difficult an
environment as I have experienced in my career. The current financial
crisis is a direct outgrowth of the financial crisis of 2008," he said.
“In 2008, when Lehman went bankrupt, the
financial system did collapse. The week between Lehman filing and the
announcement of TARP were memorable days where one market after another
ceased to function."
Now the viability of sovereign debt is in
question, he said. In Europe, flaws in the euro’s construction are being
However, he pointed out, the euro crisis is not
a currency crisis, but rather a banking crisis. Soros emphasized that the
current crisis is more severe and more lasting than the crisis in 2008.
At that time, the institutions that were needed
to control the situation existed, whereas in Europe today, there is a
central bank but no treasury.
“When the euro was introduced, everyone knew
that the treasury was missing, but there was no political will to have a
fiscal union,” he said.
“The leaders thought that when the time came
they would have the political will to put it in place. However, there is
less political will today than there was in the 1990s.”
Lacking a solution, he said, authorities are
trying to buy time, but this is not working because the crisis keeps
“The authorities are doing what it takes to
keep things together, but never more. So you actually need a continuing
crisis to make what is politically impossible, possible.”
Soros also engaged in a round of “Agree or
Disagree,” commenting on predictions for 2012 proffered by individual
Tiger 21 members. He
was asked to indicate whether he agreed with the predictions or might reject
one or more countries will leave the Eurozone within the year
While he did not fully agree, he said it
was not very far from impossible.
However, in the case of Greece,
default is more than a 50% probability. [On Thursday,
Greece struck a deal to clear the way for a possible bailout.]
Collapse of the Chinese market
Soros rejected this idea, but noted that
the country’s housing bubble has been pricked, partly as a result of
the effects of the financial crisis here spreading to China.
MF Global CEO
John Corzine goes to jail under
A real possibility, according to Soros.
Attack on Iran - by either the U.S. or Israel
attack on Iran is very
unlikely, Soros said. However, he thinks that the country’s present
regime is not going to last the year.
reaches $2,000/ounce and rises
Soros does not think gold will reach
He said gold is the ultimate bubble; its
price can go in either direction. It was the ultimate safe haven,
but funds had to liquidate their positions to cover some loses in
the stock market.
On the other hand, Soros does not expect
gold to retreat much and does not consider $1,000/ounce probable
The polarization of the top 1% and the rest of the population leads
to rioting in American cities
Soros said rioting is already happening
in the U.S., but it is not getting much
President Barack Obama’s re-election chances
Soros hedged his response, saying it
depends on whom the Republican's nominate.
“Obama has a slightly better chance
than most people because of the totally unacceptable character
of the opposition.”
Unemployment falling below 7.5% in U.S.
Soros does not expect employment numbers
to grow, but also noted that expiring unemployment benefits will
push down the overall unemployment rate.
At the end of the luncheon, Soros said,
“At times like this is it more important to
survive than to get rich. Since there are not many productive uses of
money right now, it is time to take the long-view.”
He suggested two potential plays:
George Soros Warns of EU Collapse
by Ryan Pomy
February 8, 2013
Compares EU Crisis To USSR
recently made pessimistic remarks
about the fate of the European Union in a television interview (above
The Hungarian-American business man said the the
Euro may contribute to the breakup of the EU. He expressed dismay about
Brussels’ attempts to preserve the Euro, something that Soros warned may
further exacerbate the EU’s political and social problems.
He likened the possible collapse of the EU to
that of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Gold & Silver Price Prediction & Forecast for 2013